I was driving north from Swansea through the beautiful rain soaked and autumn coloured countryside when I felt a blog coming on. The thing that prompted me to divert my attention from the scenery (but not the road ahead) was a sign advertising a Wedding Fayre. I pondered on the word fayre and wondered about its validity. So I looked it up when I arrived home.
Fayre n. a pseudo-archaic spelling of fair and fare.
Get that? Pseudo-archaic! So when you are tempted by a sign outside a pub that announces Traditional Pub Fayre I suggest you do the following. First scoff at their use of a pseudo-archaic word. Then wonder about the quality of the pseudo-food they're serving. Then scoff some place else.
As a writer of fantasy, I can have my characters adopt any form of language I want. I'm sorely tempted to have at least one of them speak in a pseudo archaic manner and perhaps all of them should.
Here's an extract from my latest Tyrant book which I have changed to incorporate this new (or pseudo-new?) style.
‘What’s this?’ Cuthbert asked.
The wizened soldier had already turned away and was fishing about in a sack. ‘It’s a pyke.’ He replied, plonking a heavy hat made of strips of iron on Cuthbert’s head. ‘And this is your helmyt. Now move along.’
‘I don’t want to be a pykeman.’ Cuthbert said.
‘It’s all we’ve got left. Be thankful you’ve got a decent weapon, there’s plenty who won’t be so lucky.’
‘It’s hardly that.’ Cuthbert said. ‘It’s a branch from a tree that’s been sharpened at one end. That doesn’t make it a pyke. Where’s the pointy bit of metyl? Without that it’s just a piece of wyd.’
‘We’re a bit short of metyl at the moment. You’ll just have to make do. Now move along.’
‘Here.’ Cuthbert said. ‘Take it back. Give it to someone else who might appreciate it. Like I said, I don’t want to be a pykeman anyway. I’d rather wait and get myself a nice crossbow.’
‘Don’t want to bear a pyke on behalf of the Kyng? I reckon them’s treasonable words. Now be gone with you, form a nice straight line over there and try not to poke any of your mates with that pyke.’
‘Another thing, this helmyt doesn’t fyt.’ By way of demonstration he turned his head sharply to the left. The helmet remained still, its noseguard now protecting Cuthbert’s ear.
OK, maybe not. Just putting in a y here and there is a bit lame I suppose. And the whole process might become a bit wearing when every other word has a wiggly red line from Word underneath it. Ah well, all's fayre in love and war.
Meanwhile, a very happy Christmas to everyone.